Thursday, September 4, 2008

Thailand army won't enforce state of emergency

Reuters reports:
Thai soldiers would not use force to evict protesters occupying the prime minister's office, army chief Anupong Paochinda said on Tuesday despite a state of emergency giving him the power to do so. "If we thought we could use police and soldiers to get them out with a peaceful conclusion, we would do it. But we think that that would create more problems," he told reporters after a man died in clashes between pro- and anti-government protesters.

The emergency powers invoked by Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej banned public meetings, declared government buildings off limits, and restricted media reports that incite unrest.

But with the army reluctant to enforce the decree - Anupong said his soldiers would be unarmed and would act only as a buffer between the protesters - the stand-off looked set to drag on.

Given that many PAD protesters are armed with guns which have been used in anger, it would not ordinarily seem prudent to send unarmed soldiers in. But this situation does so sound quite strange if you consider that the army and the protesting mob might be on the same side.

1 comment:

  1. Samak made a clever move as he thought: placed responsibility on Anupong. however Anupong didn't buy it. in fact Anupong is in better position, because he will rather gain face by such stances.

    Samak though most likely doesn't give a sh1t anyway: most probably he is only waiting till the time when he can get into Privy Council.

    so, it is just a step for him.

    since Anupong said army won't do anything - as it looks now - then most likely eventually rural folks will raise anyway, because they are aware and awake, although less educated, less organized, less informed, less everything - so it takes long time for them. but once the process is in motion - it will be like avalance. and PAD will not be able to do anything.


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